OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter
May 19, 2005

Important News About OneGreatFamily Subscriptions

In This Issue:

OneGreatFamily is Changing the Subscriptions Offered

Dear OneGreatFamily customers,

On May 29, 2005 OneGreatFamily will be implementing a change. After that date, we will no longer offer monthly and quarterly subscriptions on a regular basis. New subscribers to OneGreatFamily will only be able to sign up for a full year.

Several factors led to this decision. We have found that it takes time for new customers to gain the full value of what OneGreatFamily has to offer to their genealogy. Many customers get a big hit right upfront, but don’t take time to experience real collaboration or to see the power of leveraging other genealogists’ efforts over time. A month or even three months is just too short a period.

Annual subscriptions represent the best value for your money. An annual subscription only costs $6.25 a month, compared to $14.99 for a monthly subscription or $10.00 a month for a quarterly subscription.

Also, we have discovered that annual subscriptions are more popular with our new subscribers than the shorter-term options. In our recently conducted test, you consistently told us that you preferred the annual-only subscription option. Many customers have been put off by automatic monthly renewals. Under an annual subscription, you will receive a reminder two weeks prior to your automatic renewal – giving you a reminder to cancel should you wish to do so.

No effect on current subscribers: Current OneGreatFamily subscribers will be able to continue their monthly or quarterly memberships unless they cancel. Once cancelled, should they wish to re-subscribe, they will only have the option of signing up for an annual subscription.

We’re giving you early notice of this change so that if you have been thinking about signing up for a monthly or quarterly subscription you can do so now.

Our goal is your satisfaction. It is our desire that by making this change you and your genealogy efforts will benefit.


Robert Armstrong
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales

Back to top

Lisa Lights the Way

Fraudulent Genealogies

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

There are many reasons that people create fraudulent genealogies:

1. Family members that are trying to hide something or trying to impress someone by making the family history a little more impressive. These stories are then innocently passed down by future generations of family members.

2. Amateur genealogists who have limited genealogical or historical skills and accept others' work without any additional research. Sometimes an amateur is anxious to connect to someone "important" and forces a connection that really is not there.

3. Professional genealogists who are not thorough enough with their research or are not up-to-date "genealogically".

4. A professional crook who's trying to perpetrate a scam. One of the best known in the genealogical world is Gustave Anjou. He lived from 1863-1942 and contaminated as many as 2000 lines. Some of the others that have been identified are Charles H. Browning, Orra E. Monnette, C.A. Hoppin, Frederick A. Virkus, Horatio Gates Somerby and there are others.

How can you protect ourselves against fraud? First you need to make sure that you do not add to the problem. Your research should be thorough and well sourced. Use others' work as a guide, but check the information in the original sources whenever you are able and find out as much as possible about the author/submitter and his/her genealogical background and research methods.

Back to top

Q&A: When Should I Accept a Hint or Conflict?

Examples of when you should or should not merge data

OneGreatFamily is the first truly collaborative genealogy service that allows everyone in the world to work on a common family tree. Overcoming the challenges of letting people work on the same family tree hasn't been easy. First, we had to ensure that people would always be able to retain "their own" view of their family tree. This means that OneGreatFamily respects the opinions and information provided by each person using OneGreatFamily and preserves each unique perspective. Where conflicts or disputed evidence occurs in OneGreatFamily, each person maintains his or her right to see the information believed to be "right" or "most accurate."

Where other software applications require an immediate choice to be made when merging two individuals together as to which version of information to keep, OneGreatFamily allows users to merge individuals and still preserve all of the information from both trees that have been merged.

The rule for merging two people together in OneGreatFamily is quite simple (but can actually require collaboration or additional research): "Feel comfortable merging together any two individuals in OneGreatFamily who you are confident are actually the same person." The question then becomes, "How confident?"

OneGreatFamily can help with your confidence level. When you click on a hint lightbulb, you will see a tab at the top that shows OneGreatFamily's confidence level that the two records are duplicates. Hints only occur if there is a high probability of duplication. You can look at parents, spouses, children, siblings, and event information to become more confident in your decision to either merge the records or to reject the hint.

Here are two good examples:

Example 1: Two individuals in OneGreatFamily have the same name, parents and birth information. They also have identical spouses by name. On closer examination, however, you see that the version in your tree includes three children and the other version includes only one child. The child included in the other version is also included in your list of children.

This is a case where you can safely merge the two individuals. OneGreatFamily did not automatically merge them because they had different information for the children; however, the chance that they are actually two different people is remote.

Merging these two people will create a conflict, but that's OK. You will continue to see three children from your perspective, and the person who submitted the other version of the family tree will now "inherit" two additional children. Merging the two lines together may provide both of you additional names and information for your known family trees.

That's part of the power of OneGreatFamily. You can collaborate with the person who submitted the other version of the family tree. In this case, there is a good chance the other researcher has only focused on a direct line and has chosen not to research other siblings. Merging the common ancestor can provide one or both of you with exciting new leads and information to verify and "make your own."

Example 2: Two men in OneGreatFamily have the same parents and birth information, but their wives and children don't look the same. Upon closer inspection, the two men have one wife in common, but one of the men has a second wife listed. You look further and recognize most of the children also have the same information. The common wife also has the same birth information and names for parents.

In this case, you can also safely merge the two men and the wife who is listed as the spouse in both cases; however, be careful NOT to merge the second wife who was listed for one of the men with the first. Merging the two duplicate men does not mean you agree that he had two wives or that you necessarily agree with the information included in the other family tree. It simply means there is enough information available to identify both individuals as the same person.

Merging these people will also create conflicts. You will have conflicts on the children as well as on the spouses. You will want to merge both instances of the common wife, since you have verified that the information has been duplicated and merge together any duplicate children. Take care NOT to merge the two wives together, since they are not the same person and come from different families.

You can feel comfortable merging people together who are obviously the same, even if all of the detailed information doesn't match perfectly. Use your common sense to only merge together people who are in fact duplicates of each other. Looking at available notes and sources can be another tool to identify when two people are duplicates.

You will always be prompted to resolve conflicts that occur as a result of merging people together. Don't feel that you need to accept the information that has been supplied by others as your own. You will want to refer to notes and sources to inform any decisions you make. You can also contact the other researcher to learn more about the information they have supplied. Differences in opinion or evidence are natural in genealogy. Resolving all conflicts, although it may sound like a noble goal, is not necessary to succeed with OneGreatFamily.

OneGreatFamily will continue to automatically provide hints and merges; however, your participation and the participation of others is vital in the effort to create a "common family tree" for all of humanity.

One Great Genealogy Site Award

Yesteryear Memories

Yesteryear Memories specializes in photo retouching, photo restoration, and photo enhancement. Photo services include retouching and restoring damaged photos, colorizing, adding backgrounds, or removing objects from photos.
Back to top

Get FREE Time on

Want some FREE time?

Current subscribers can earn additional free time by referring others to OneGreatFamily needs your help in growing the largest single family tree in the world. You can get free subscription time on OneGreatFamily by referring others to this unique service. When anyone you refer to OneGreatFamily subscribes to our service and enters your username, you get an additional free month.

Back to top

This newsletter is provided as a FREE service to the members of
You can view past editions of this newsletter by visiting our Newsletter Archive.
If you would like to receive a plain text version of this letter or unsubscribe to our newsletter service, you may do so by accessing our newsletter preferences page at

Last Week at OneGreatFamily

303,562 people were added into the OneGreatFamily tree.

244,096 new connections between family trees were found by our automated search system.

Having Success?

OneGreatFamily wants to hear from you. Please send us your success stories and your recommendations for new features.

Submit your story
Send us your wish list
Copyright © 1999-2005    Link to Us | Site Index | Affiliate Program | About Us | Privacy Policy